You’re in your early or mid-30s and earning reasonably well, but you haven’t really come around to planning your finances or using strategies that could help you save more and build wealth over the next twenty years.
By now you’ve probably already automated your bill payments and learned to control your grocery and entertainment bills, but here are some tips to help you view the bigger picture and make decisions that will have a significant impact on your financial health.
Consider debt consolidation
While you may feel that you still have a lot of time to pay off your debt, early 30s is a perfect time to consider consolidating your debt and pay off the most critical loans at the earliest. If you have been missing repayments and continue to do so, you’ll end up paying a substantial amount in interest and late fees over the years.
By bringing several loan repayments together into a single monthly payment, you’ll be able to have greater control over your debt, which will empower you to start living a debt-free life sooner than you thought possible. If you opt for consolidation, make sure to go after high-interest loans first.
In addition, a great way to eliminate loans from your life is to use any additional income (bonuses, investment income, earnings from a side hustle, etc.) to pay off your debt. Regular contributions over time can reduce your total loan term as well as save hundreds of dollars in interest.
If for some reason you’re unable to consolidate your debt, you might want to look into paying back your debt using the debt snowball method. This is where you look at paying back the smallest debt amount first, while paying minimum payments on your other debts, once this is cleared you move on to the next loan and so on.
Clear your back taxes
Millions of taxpayers tend to fall back on their tax payments owing to lack of funds. While deliberate tax evasion is a criminal offence, the IRS has many programs in place to help willing taxpayers pay their past dues in instalments and even offers waiver of penalties and interest in special circumstances.
In case you have unfiled tax returns and a tax debt that you’re unable to pay off all at once, consult an experienced taxation attorney for viable solutions to get current with the IRS. Tax lawyers at Timothy S. Hart Law Group can help you identify a tax relief program to settle your back taxes in a systematic and affordable manner. If you’re facing collection measures from the IRS or facing a criminal inquiry, get a seasoned tax attorney to represent you and safeguard your interests.
Protect yourself and your loved ones with adequate insurance
While you may have managed through your 20s without a life cover, as you grow older and build a family or have dependents with no income of their own, it’s time to buy a good life insurance policy.
In addition, review your health insurance to determine if it provides sufficient coverage, and learn about the exclusions. This will help you set up a backup fund for out-of-pocket expenses in case of a medical emergency.
You likely already have car insurance and, if you’ve purchased a house, you’ll also have home/mortgage insurance. While insurance premiums can sometimes feel like an unwanted expense, having adequate cover will give you peace of mind and safeguard your loved ones in case of a mishap. To minimize premium payments, compare insurance policies, understand the fine print to know what’s on offer, and opt for a product that offers maximum benefits for a reasonable premium.
Reduce your credit card use
If you can’t eliminate it altogether, reduce your credit card usage to a minimum. If you enjoy the benefits offered by your credit card company (flyer miles, discounts and special offers), keep a maximum of two cards and cancel the rest. Use these cards to make essential purchases, but how to pay off the balances in time. Rolling over your balance to the next month sets off a vicious cycle that is really hard to get out of when you have loan repayments, insurance premiums and other expenses eating into your income.
If you’ve been paying huge interest and late fees on your credit card balances, switch to a card that comes with a 0% APR, which means the credit card company won’t charge interest on your purchases and balance transfers for a specific period. This small move will save you hundreds of dollars over a year.
In addition, now is a good time to review the investments you made in your 20s and let go of the ones that haven’t helped grow your wealth. Instead, explore investment options that will bring high returns over the next decade and help you build a robust retirement fund.